Reversing Runaway Inequality: A Petition To
The American Political Establishment
Runaway inequality is tearing apart the fabric of our society and neither political party has addressed it effectively. In fact they have made it worse by catering to Wall Street and corporate elites.
We need a clear-cut agenda to reverse runaway inequality.
After meetings all over the country, with the input of thousands of concerned Americans from a variety of political views, we've put together a list of proposals that if enacted would bring more justice and fairness to our country.
This petition lists those proposals. We want to demonstrate to elected leaders, to those running for office and to those hoping to do so in the future, that these proposals have massive support from people all over the country. We want to demonstrate that these are mainstream ideas that should be enacted as soon as possible.
Now is the time for all of us to let the political establishment know that we want real justice and fairness in America. Join in the effort to reverse runaway inequality. We need you. We need each other.
The American Political Establishment
From: [Your Name]
Petition to Reverse Runaway Inequality
We the undersigned pledge to build an America in which prosperity is shared among all its people, not just the billionaire class and Wall Street. Toward that end, we pledge to work for the following agenda to reduce inequality and support candidates who pledge to do the same.
Money and Politics: The right to fair and equal representation, free from voter suppression and the massive financial influence of corporations and the wealthy. For our democracy to endure, Citizens United must be overturned, public campaign financing enacted, the Voting Rights Act enforced, and partisan gerrymandering outlawed.
Medicare for All: Guaranteed, high-quality healthcare should be a right, not a privilege. Medicare, our single-payer system, must be improved and expanded to cover everyone, including coverage for women's reproductive health.
Environmental Sustainability: To prevent catastrophic overheating of the planet, there must be a rapid transition to a clean energy economy. Our water, air and workplaces must be protected from pollution, and companies must be discouraged from fleeing to countries with weaker health, safety, and environmental standards.
Jobs at a Living Wage: There must be a decent-paying job with benefits, at equal pay for equal work, in a safe and healthy workplace for everyone who is willing and able to work. If the private sector does not provide enough of these jobs, then it is the duty of government to create them.
Free Public Education: Preschool for two-to-five-year-olds should be available free of charge for all families. And everyone who qualifies for entrance to public higher educational institutions or technical schools should be able to attend tuition-free.
Impartial Criminal Justice: Biased law enforcement and private prisons in poor urban and rural communities must be ended. Mass incarceration must not be used as a substitute for decent employment and educational opportunities.
Pathway to Citizenship: Every resident of the US should have a comprehensive pathway to citizenship, and be afforded the rights to due process and a fair hearing that the Constitution guarantees to all.
Worker Rights: To rebuild the middle-class, government must protect the right of working people to form unions and bargain collectively, free from employer coercion and job threats.
Demilitarize the Economy: We spend more on the military than the next eight nations combined. This distorts our economy, entangles us in endless wars, and siphons away resources that should be used to build a more fair and just economy. Military spending should be cut significantly over the next decade, and those funds should be reinvest in our human and physical infrastructure.
To ensure that the one-percent pay their fair share for a free and just society, we also demand the following:
Public Banks: As an alternative to Wall Street's predatory lending, every state and large city should charter a public bank, modeled on the Bank of North Dakota, whose first and only goal is to serve its people. Also, like many other developed nations, the United States should adopt postal banking to provide fair and accessible financial services via the U.S. Postal Service.
Taxing Wall Street: To move money to Main Street, a sales tax (a small fraction of one percent) should be imposed on stocks, bonds, and derivatives trades. It would be practically invisible for nearly all of us, but would add up to significant amounts on the large Wall Street players. It also would discourage high frequency computer trades, which make up the majority of all stock market activity.
End Stock Manipulation: CEOs and their Wall Street partners should not be permitted to enrich themselves by using corporate funds to buy back their own shares in order to artificially raise share prices. This important protection was repealed in 1982 and should be reinstated.
Wealth Tax of One Percent on Those Whose Net Worth is More Than $10 Million: Those who have grown super-rich in our financialized economy often have ways to shelter income and avoid paying their fair share of taxes. A wealth tax, currently used by Spain, France, Switzerland and Norway, has proven an excellent way to ensure that we all contribute a fair amount.